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Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
612 E Reserve St, Vancouver, Washington 98661
On July 22 from 9 am to 5 pm, volunteers from the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry, a local living history group, will set up a Civil War era encampment on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground. Visitors to the encampment will learn about military life during the 1860s and watch black powder musket demonstrations.
On July 22 at 6 pm, visitors will be invited to step back in time to watch a baseball game played by the rules of the 1860s. Costumed volunteers from the national park and the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry will portray two of the Pacific Northwest's earliest baseball teams: the Sherman Base Ball Club (consisting of Vancouver Barracks soldiers) and the Occidental Base Ball Club of the City of Vancouver. Vancouver's Mayor Pro Tem, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, will throw the first pitch.
Baseball (then called «base ball») in the 1860s was a very different game than it was today. The «hurler» — today's «pitcher» — threw to the striker's (batter's) liking, and there were no called or non-swinging strikes. Players wore no gloves, and could catch the ball on one bounce for an out. The game was played with an extensive code of conduct to ensure that all would play in a «gentlemanly» manner. For example, neither sliding into nor stealing bases were allowed. Along with the costumed players, volunteers will portray well-dressed «cranks» (base ball fans from the 1860s). Between innings, patriotic music from the 19th century will be played by the Vancouver Community Concert Band directed by Erin Hanson.
To learn more about early baseball history in Vancouver, the park's historic resource study, The National Game is Decidedly 'On the Fly': The Rise of Organized Base Ball in the Portland and Vancouver Area in 1867 can be downloaded as a PDF at go.usa.gov/5cmh